Design & Construction
The Marshall Emberton, as can you see, is by far the smallest Bluetooth speaker that Marshall decided to add to their existing rugged on-the-road type of speakers. But don’t be fooled by its petite size, it really packs a punch. This time, the entire speaker is wrapped with a full silicone outer shell and metallic grilles which makes it IPX7 waterproof. However, it is not dust-proof. It weighs in at a rather lightweight of 700g which makes it super lightweight to carry around. With its matte surface, it resists fingerprints smudges very well. On the top end of the speaker is where we find all our necessary controls. In the centre is where we find our multi-function control knob. A long press will power on/off the speaker and a short press will play/pause the music. Clicking the upper and lower parts of the rocking knob will increase and decrease the volume respectively and the left and right will skip backwards or forward a song. Towards the left is where we will find our Bluetooth pairing button that will enable pairing mode when long pressed. Towards the right, we will find our LED battery indicators which was a great feature I loved when using the Marshall Stockwell II. However, there was one missing feature from the Stockwell II which is the handy physical knobs to adjust the level of bass and treble. But this time, I really think it isn’t necessary on a mini speaker like this. The fact that Marshall decided to forgo the bass and treble knobs for the basic play/pause, volume and skip songs functions was a great choice. However, like the Stockwell II, Emberton still does not have any app support to tune the sound signature or update its firmware etc. The Emberton does also forgo the option to party sync with the rest of the Marshall speakers like the Stockwell II, Kilburn II or Tufton. At right side of the speaker, you will find the USB-C port which is meant for charging purpose only, no wired music playback.
Moving on to sound quality, the Emberton may look small from the outside but it really is loud and powerful. It features two 2 inch 10 W full range driver and 2 passive radiators in which the drivers directs sound to both front and back of the speakers. I would personally say it does well in creating a filling 360 degree experience. Powered by two 10W class D amplifiers, it has a frequency range between 60-20KHz, the bass response is certainly deep, punchy and tight. However, it does distort and bleed into the mids if you put it on max volume. It hits deep and so much more than its competitors. Highs sound bright and filled with plenty of details. Mids are very crisp and instruments separation is excellent. The soundstage is surprisingly wide and covers much more areas in a room than its competitors. At 60% volume, it is able to fill up a medium-sized room. However since there is no app support, there is no built-in equaliser to change the sound signature of the speaker for different genres. Going third-party or simply using your phone's equaliser does alter the sound signature to your preferences if there is a need. The fact is the sound sounds really fantastic right out of the box so not much altering is required for it to sound the best. If I was to summarise the sound signature, I would say it has a V shaped sound that is a boost in both the bass and highs. It will be suited to fit modern day pop, Rock, R&B, EDM or any fast paced kind of music. If you are looking to use the Emberton as a speakerphone or a smart Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa assistant for your smart home needs, it unfortunately does not support it.
Connectivity & Portability
In terms of connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 is offered. The 3.5mm audio-in port now removed so there is no way to use this speaker wired. Its battery life peaks at 20+ hours but loud volumes drain it quickly. The speaker does charge with a USB-C cable and features fast charging where a 20 minute charge give you 5 hours of music playback. It will charges up fully in 3 hours.
Next Generation Wishlist
In the next generation, I hope to see Marshall include these features keep up with today’s market demand. First, the inclusion of an app support for lighting controls, equaliser settings and smart assistant integration with Wi-Fi built in to become a smart speaker. Second, the inclusion of a speakerphone function. The third is quite impossible moving forward, but the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio input is also welcomed. Alternatively, Marshall can look to include wireless charging into their speakers.
Loud, Powerful Sound
Full Functionality via Speaker Buttons
Bluetooth 5.0 Support
Long Battery Life
No App Support
No Equaliser Sound Customisation
No Speakerphone Function
No 3,5mm Audio Input
The Bottom Line
All in all, the Marshall Emberton is a small yet simple speaker that focuses on bringing the best audio quality to the table. With a capable 360 sound signature, easy to use controls, compact size and long battery life, it will retains the key essentials of what you really need in a speaker of this size.
WE RATE IT!
Other Notable Competitors
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